New business group attracts entrepreneurs ages 21 to 40

City economic development officials are optimistic about the initial reception for Milford’s newest business organization, the Milford Young Professionals.

Just three months into its second incarnation, the Milford Young Professionals group seems to be attracting a following of local entrepreneurs aged 21 to 40, and has already hosted networking and educational events.

Unlike a first grassroots attempt to start a young professional networking group in February 2013, which apparently fizzled after several meetings, this Milford Young Professionals group seems to be steadily gaining ground.

The difference may be due to the organizational support that city economic development officials are currently offering to the Milford Young Professionals.

Julie Nash, the city’s director of economic and community development, has termed the development of young professionals “a priority in moving Milford forward.”

Nash has help spearheading the Milford Young Professionals’ early growth from Jenna Lupi, a ZOOM Foundation Fellow who works in the Economic and Community Development office. ZOOM is a privately funded foundation dedicated to developing leaders in social policy.

“There are a lot of great business and civic organizations in Milford, and the idea was to engage the younger generation,” Lupi explained. “Because Milford has an aging population, we want to encourage younger people and families to work here, to move here, and to live here.”

Lupi noted that the City Economic and Community Development office won’t be running the new group, but is simply helping get it off the ground.

The Milford Young Professionals held its third meeting on Dec. 9, featuring two guest speakers from PULSE Greater New Haven Young Professionals who outlined the workings of that established group.

Lupi said that several long-range goals have been identified for the newly formed Milford group, including ways to better connect young professionals with Milford through community service projects. The group is expected to have a mentoring component so local young professionals can connect with others more experienced in their specific field. And the Milford Young Professionals will likely host CEO Roundtables similar to those hosted by PULSE, which would expose small groups of young professionals to local leaders of business and industry.

Lupi said the Milford Young Professionals are still working out their operational details and needs, and haven’t yet assigned people to their first board of directors. For the time being, there are no dues.

Where does Lupi envision the Milford Young Professionals one year from now?

“I’m hoping we’ll have our first board assigned, that there will be established monthly activities, and that the Milford Young Professionals will have had a few very successful events,” Lupi said.

Additional information about the Milford Young Professionals and the group’s upcoming January 2015 meeting is available by contacting Lupi at the Economic and Community Development Department, 203-783-3230 or